Work is due to start on a long-awaited £30million plan to relieve pressure on one of Aberdeen’s most notorious bottlenecks.
A 2008 government report identified a link road through Middlefield – a so-called Haudagain bypass – as the way of ending years of traffic misery.
And now a contractor has been appointed to take forward ground investigation works ahead of the ambitious plan.
Transport Scotland has announced the award of a £213,000 contract to Environmental Reclamation Services (ERS) Ltd.
The work is programmed to start early next month and is expected to be on site for a period of seven weeks.
The project is designed to fit in with the Aberdeen bypass and other traffic busting measures being introduced into the city.
Mark McDonald MSP for Aberdeen Donside said: “People across Aberdeen can look forward to this bottleneck being resolved soon after the major AWPR construction is completed.
“Looking at these significant projects it is clear that north-east infrastructure is a top priority of the SNP in government, and a solid commitment to improving our connectivity across the region.”
The Haudagain was once dubbed the worst roundabout in Britain and studies have estimated the hold-ups it causes where the A90 and A96 meet have cost the region’s economy up to £30million a year.
Transport Minister Humza Yousaf said: “We remain on target to start work at Haudagain once the AWPR is complete, currently scheduled to open in winter 2017/18. Once completed the Haudagain improvement scheme will bring much-needed relief for drivers and communities in the area.”
Finance convener Willie Young said he was “delighted” that “at long last” the contract has been awarded.
He added: “We have been talking about the improvements for 12 years. What we want to see is action and at long last the initial works are away to start.”